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Police Seek Suspect In Upper West Side Sex Assault

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The NYPD is on the hunt for a man who sexually assaulted a woman late Friday night on the Upper West Side.

The victim said she was walking to her apartment near 105th Street and Central Park West at around 11 p.m. when her attacker started following her, CBS 2's Don Champion reported.

She said once she got to her apartment, the man came up from behind and pushed her down.

Police said the man sexually assaulted the woman, then took off. Sources told CBS 2 the suspect also choked the woman.

The victim who tried to fight off her attacker shared her terrifying story with CBS 2's Steve Langford, hoping to help other victims feel unafraid.

"I tried and it was hopeless," she said.

The 36-year-old wished not to reveal her name, but wants to put a face to this ordeal.

"The last time I had fought back was with a mirror. I had a hand held mirror and he basically got hold of my neck again for the third time," she said. "…wouldn't let go until I almost passed out and I thought I was going to die."

"I kept trying to talk to him and he kept saying, 'shut up, shut up,'" she added.

The victim, speaking publicly, said she wants to send a message—especially to her attacker.

"I know exactly how he looked. I know exactly," she said. "He made the mistake of leaving his hat in my apartment."

She also said if the suspect things he's shattered her—think again. She said she would  be more than happy to testify against her attacker.

"I'm not afraid and I'm still not going to be afraid and this man is not going to make me afraid," she said.

Overnight, police brought in K-9 units in an effort to track down the attacker. So far no arrests have been made.

One resident said it's a quiet neighborhood and normally a safe block, but admitted that a lot of people pass through the area.

"There are people, but late at night I guess there are less people, and maybe people that you don't want to be walking around with," Upper West Side resident Angela Okajima-Kempinas said. "...I do know a lot people who live in the neighborhood and I see a lot of them often, but I guess it changes late at night."

"It's terrifying, it's really scary, I have four kids and a 14-year-old daughter at the time when she'd like to be independent walking around by herself," Upper West Side resident Rudie Hurwitz said.

Police said they only have a vague idea of what the man looks like, they described him as a man in his 40s, last seen wearing a brown shirt.

The victim says the attacker took her purse, which was later found and turned into police.

The building's super says its surveillance camera was not working but that a new system will soon be installed.

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